Bellisario College Alumni Society honors award winners

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Three Penn State alumni, a faculty member and an award-winning Pennsylvania journalist earned the top annual awards from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Alumni Society Board.

The awards were presented Oct. 2 on the University Park campus. Those selected for the honors were:

  • Tony Mancuso, a 2008 advertising/public relations graduate, who earned the Emerging Professional Award;
  • David Skidmore, a 1979 journalism and history graduate, who earned the Outstanding Alumni Award;
  • Laurence Moskowitz, a 1973 journalism graduate, who earned the Alumni Achievement Award;
  • Nancy Eshelman, a columnist for the Harrisburg Patriot-News and PennLive.con, who was named as recipient of the Douglas A. Anderson Communications Contributor Award; and
  • Ann Marie Major, an associate professor in the Bellisario College who earned the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Emerging Professional, Tony Mancuso

Tony Mancuso is in his second season with the New York Jets, serving as manager, digital media services. He oversees all aspects of, including day-to-day editorial, video and photo content coverage of the Jets.

Mancuso started his career in the sports communications world as a junior at Penn State. He worked as a student intern in the athletic communications office for two years (2006-08), serving as the primary contact for the men’s tennis team. Mancuso then worked eight years (2008-16) as a full-time professional inside Penn State Athletics.

After graduating in 2008, he spent two years covering all things Penn State sports as the managing editor for the Penn State Official Sports Report – a 365-day-a-year sports news service. Mancuso was hired by Penn State in 2010 to produce extensive content for the official home of Penn State Athletics on the web,

From 2008 to 2016, Mancuso covered every Penn State football game, home and away (103 straight games), provided on-site coverage for 10 Penn State national championships (wrestling, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s gymnastics) and worked at Penn State athletic events in 26 states and two countries before leaving his role for the National Football League in July 2016.

Born in Millersburg, Ohio, Mancuso’s hometown is Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. He lives with his fiancee Lindsey Nakonechy, a 2011 Penn State graduate, in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Outstanding Alumni, David Skidmore

Dave Skidmore serves as a media relations officer and speech editor for the Federal Reserve Board, which he joined in 1999 after a career in journalism. He works in a collaborative team-oriented environment, focusing more on media relations and editing than on writing.

In 2014, he took a one-year leave from the board to assist former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke with his book, “The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath.”

Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Board in 1999, Skidmore worked for The Associated Press in Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., covering economics and banking. He graduated from Penn State in 1979 with a degree in history and journalism. After graduation, Skidmore was a reporter for The Globe-Times of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

At Penn State, Skidmore joined the staff of The Daily Collegian as a freshman and served as editor-in-chief in 1978-79. In this position, he was responsible for deciding what stories the campus newspaper would publish.

Skidmore, a native of Philadelphia, lives in northwest Washington, D.C., with his wife, Marsha Silverberg.

Alumni Achievement, Laurence Moskowitz

Laurence Moskowitz, founder, managing partner and chief executive of Lumentus, was named one of the 10 most influential public relations executives of the 20th Century by PR Week magazine. In 1999, Moskowitz was honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for communications.

Regarded as an expert in crisis communications, issues management and strategic corporate communications, Moskowitz founded the New York-based Lumentus in 2009 after recognizing that technology and client service needs were changing how public relations, marketing and advertising firms must operate.

A communications pioneer, Moskowitz has leveraged emerging technologies throughout his career to provide business and professional communicators with more powerful and effective means of reaching their audiences. Prior to Lumentus, Moskowitz founded Medialink, then the world’s largest provider of video-based media communications services to Fortune 500 companies.  

As chairman and CEO of Medialink, Moskowitz forged strategic alliances with The Associated Press and Nielsen to create the first professional distribution network linking corporations and other organizations with television broadcasters nationwide. Medialink, which he took public in a 1997 IPO led by Dean Witter -- now Morgan Stanley -- won hundreds of public relations industry awards, and was successfully merged into a successor company in 2009.

Moskowitz holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State, where he was Kappa Tau Alpha in communications.

Anderson Communications Contributor, Nancy Eshelman

Nancy Eshelman has been writing a weekly column for the Harrisburg Patriot-News since 1989. She began her career with Lancaster Newspapers and joined the Patriot-News in 1985. She’s been a reporter and an assistant city editor, but her heart has always been in her column. Although she retired from full-time duties at the paper in 2008, she has continued to entertain and annoy readers with her weekly column, which also appears online at

Receiving weekly emails from her most frequent readers, Eshelman has developed a supportive, loyal community of readers through her column. She takes pride in tackling topics like domestic violence and juveniles in prison in order to raise awareness about such issues. Alternatively, she also enjoys writing about relatable topics from her personal life. Warm notes from readers in similar situations have poured into her inbox over the years. For 19 consecutive years, she has been awarded “Simply the Best Columnist/Journalist” by readers of Harrisburg Magazine.

Eshelman is a graduate of Millersville University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Temple University. She spent a semester at Penn State as the Bellisario College of Communications’ Editor-in-Residence.

Excellence in Teaching, Ann Marie Major

Ann Marie Major has taught a wide range of communications courses -- from capstone, senior-level advertising and public relations courses to first-year seminars -- during her tenure at Penn State. This semester she is teaching multiple sections of public relations campaigns. She has also served as the adviser of the University’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America.

Major is co-author of the book “Good-Bye Gweilo: Public Opinion and the 1997 Problem in Hong Kong.” Her current research focuses on the intersection of public opinion, news discourse, and emergency response.

Major worked in advertising and public relations before earning her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. She is an accredited member (APR) of the Public Relations Society of America and has served in national leadership positions. She has authored articles in more than a half dozen journals, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Public Relations Research, and the Proceedings of the American Academy of Advertising. She also has authored several book chapters.

Last Updated October 03, 2017